Hello everyone, it’s Tasha from By gum, by golly!
I was so excited when Portia asked me to be part of the Refashioners project. I am not a consummate refashioner like she is, so I knew this was going to be a good sewing challenge for me. And what did Portia send me? A men’s flannel shirt that dwarfed my dress form!
I really was stumped at first. But as it happened, when I got the shirt in the mail I was sewing up a gathered skirt from a 1940s pattern, and it hit me not longer after: turn the shirt into a skirt!
My plan was this: use the basic shape of the shirt as-is. The length of the shirt from the yoke to hem was a perfect skirt length for me if I used a narrow seam allowance and left the original hem intact. The front and back would be gathered into a waistband that buttoned at the center front with an overlap, above the original button placket. This all meant cutting off the back yoke, collar and sleeves, and carefully taking off the front pockets with a seam ripper.
I then cut down the side seams, and narrowed the back by cutting off the few inches on either side of the armhole so it was a rectangle. I left the front with the armholes intact because in a flash of brilliance I realized I could make inseam pockets like in the Sewaholic Cambiepattern! You can see what the front and back looked like after cutting, but before I lopped off another little bit on the front to get them the same length:
I made a pocket pattern piece based on the Cambie pocket piece, (above right) making the scooped side the same shape as the former-armhole of the shirt. I used the sleeves as fabric to cut out the pockets. That’s when I realized the sleeves had the plaid pattern upside down! So I corrected that on my pockets.
Because believe it or not, I actually had enough fabric to match up the plaid!
However, no matching plaid on the back: it was upside down, too! But since I was preserving the original hem, the back stayed that way.
I used the back yoke to construct the waistband. I thought I was going to have to piece the waistband together with lots of seams originally, but as it turned out the yoke was a double-layer of fabric, so the waistband only has one seam. And with the busy plaid, you’d never know that I did all my math backwards, so the seam is off-center. (Excuse the messy work table!)
Last but not least, I swapped out the buttons for some matching vintage ones.
You can see what the finished inseam pockets looked like. Can you believe that they were once armholes?
In the end I had a wonderful and very cozy new skirt!
When I started the project I wasn’t even convinced there was enough fabric to pull it off, but I have to say I’m tickled pink with the final skirt! And now I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to pass up a nice, extra large men’s shirt at the thrift store again.
Oh Portia, look what you started…
Tasha of By Gum, By Golly
Firstly, I love that Tasha has a pair of shoes that perfectly matches the turquoise in the plaid! Secondly…erm…GENIUS!! Using the original armhole curve as shaping for the pockets! Isn’t that just one of those things where you smack your forehead and wonder why that never occurred to you before? I know I did! I am soooo trying that….Thankyou so much Tasha 🙂
This shirt was actually quite poorly made and a boxy unflattering shape. What stood out for me when I found this in the charity shop was the lovely colour way, supersoft feel of the fabric and the fact that it was 100% cotton. Being a large men’s shirt there was scope there. I love that Tasha has proved that you can refashion and STILL retain that authentic vintage look and feel to your makes. It’s all in the details and the styling…